A recent conviction of a Malaysian scholar in United Kingdom for producing and possessing thousands of “Class A” child porn materials and sentenced to five years’ jail in the United Kingdom raised the question, is there a necessity for Malaysia to have a sexual offenders registry.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar in a statement have mentioned that he does not have any qualms about the setting up a registry but opined that it was unnecessary as it would be redundant with the Registration of Criminal and Undesirable Persons Act 1969.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman however, has the opposite stand, saying that it was high time Malaysia set up a registry specifically for sex offenders.
Rantau Panjang parliamentarian, Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff when contacted, shared her concern regarding this matter.
"Any measures or policies to be taken by the government, have to ensure that it will be able to curb all forms of crime and violence.
“If these culprits are not identifiable by name and face for example, the may be able to slip away allowing them to commit more crimes,” she said.
She was of the opinion that the issue (of the listing of sexual criminals registry) warrants a more in depth research and study and cannot be taken lightl as it involves the dignity of women.
Siti Zailah hoped that the government would revise its stand on the matter and no party would be victimized nor the public exposed to risk of sexual predators allowed to roam the streets freely.
Former cop and criminal analyst, Kamal Affendi Hashim when contacted by English Section said "there are actually many people who wants the sexual offenders registry to be established and their demands is not something new.
“This is an urgent matter that had taken a long time to find a solution, I myself have raised this matter for the past five years, for the Children Act to be established,” he said.
He was of the opinion that a separate registry should be created so that monitoring and control could be made against these former offenders.
As we give them a second chance (after undergoing their sentence), he said, at the same time we cannot open the door for the crime to be allowed to happen again.
A man who was previously convicted as a sex offender for example, cannot be allowed to work as a kindergarten bus driver, he added.
“Should the idea of a separate registry be rejected, an alternative is that for all persons working in the transportation of children for example, have their names submitted to the police for security vetting.
“In this matter, we minimise the risks and chances without being prejudiced towards these former criminals. That is the true essence of the registry," he pointed out.
The president of the Malaysian Community Policing, Kuan Chee Heng when asked, concurs with the opinion stated by the IGP.
"Yes, we already have the crime registry now. The sexual offenders registry is already in the police's system.
“For offenses committed out of Malaysia and was not reported to the Interpol, we would not be aware of it,” he added.
According to him, a special registry for sexual offenders in Malaysia might be a good thing, for quick reference.
It is good for public awareness to know about the sexual offenders if the Malaysian laws permit it, he said.
The public for example, he said, could also make a special website for this purpose, and its establishment would be a deterrence to these former criminals who might considering relapsing into the life of crime, but it must not interfere with the jobs and responsibilities of the police.
“Personally, I don't see any obstacles there and the idea gets my support," he said.- ES